Friday November 18th internationally acclaimed urban planner Jan Gehl visited
downtown Brooklyn, including Metrotech, Fulton Mall, Atlantic Terminal Mall,
Atlantic Center Mall, and the site of Forest City Ratner's "Atlantic
Yards" plan. He commented on public space and the transportation infrastructure
in downtown Brooklyn.
Jan Gehl is a Danish architect, Professor of Urban Design and Director of
the Center for Public Space Research at the School of Architecture, Royal
Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. He is author of several books
including Life Between Buildings and the Public Spaces and
Public Life series. He has designed projects around the world and specializes
in the planning of public spaces.
on Jan Gehl from the Project for Public Spaces
are links to photos from the day's tour:
Professor Gehl brings
Danish to the Cheesecake capitol of the world
In the middle of Fulton
Surrounded by Metrotech
At Ratner's Atlantic
Yards" at Atlantic Center Mall's Target
Some of Professor Gehl's comments upon seeing Frank
Gehry's models for "Atlantic Yards":
Looking at the Frank Gehry design:
"Is that really the plan??! That
could only be good from an airplane"
"Its a series of
"Its not what should be built in a city like New York"
"This is not an obvious place for an arena." (said with knowledge of
the transportation hub)
"Density in cities is very important, but it can be done well and it
can be done poorly."
on the Gehry plan "These buildings are not human scale, they are designed
for elephants and dinosaurs."
"Often now developers who have large
scale development plans hire 'starchitects' for their projects, so that
when communities oppose or criticize the plans, they can then be called
philistines or anti-architecture."